Mobile telecoms firm signals new phase of growth following management buy-out

December 13, 2019

The new owners of Bristol mobile telecoms equipment manufacturer CL Electrical Controls are planning to grow the business, including moving to a larger site, after buying it in a management buy-out put together with city-based law firm Meade King.

The firm, based in Winterbourne, also makes systems that control and monitor heating and ventilation in hospitals, schools and retail buildings across the UK.

Directors Dave Holder and Steve Thompson, who have been on its board for 15 and 11 years respectively, bought the firm from Stephen Newman.

Founded in 1976, the CL’s clients range from local education authorities to multi-national companies and include the mobile communications giant BT and Keynsham-based internet service provider Truespeed.

Steve and Dave have ambitious growth plans for the business and plan to move to larger premises at the Beaufort Trade Park in nearby Pucklechurch, which will increase its total floor space from 4,500 sq ft to 8,300 sq ft.

CL Electrical Controls is currently working with US technology company Parallel Wireless to develop new telecoms products that will improve rural broadband coverage. CL’s research facilities include a special thermal test chamber for carrying out environmental testing on its telecoms equipment cabinets and power distribution systems.

Steve Thompson said: “This is an integral part of the research, design and development process and allows us to simulate ambient temperatures up to +40°C and down to -15°C. We can also adjust the humidity levels so that realistic conditions can be created.

“This is then used to adjust designs to improve airflow to keep the internal equipment within the recommended operating temperature range, while minimising the energy consumption so that the equipment cabinets are running at their most efficient and saving our clients money on their energy bills.”

Steve praised Meade King’s managing partner James Hawkins, who heads the law firm’s company and commercial team, for his advice on the buy-out.

He said: “James helped us all the way through the process, from advice on valuing the business and drafting heads of terms to assisting with negotiations and dealing with the bank and accountants.

“It was good to have him on our side, especially during the final stages to ensure things ran smoothly. James made everything easy to understand and was very quick to respond to our questions.”

James Hawkins added: “We’re delighted to have helped Steve and Dave take over the reins of this long-established business which is at the forefront of the broadband rollout.

“This is an exciting time for the business and we wish them every success with their future growth plans.”

Single-office firm Meade King’s lawyers have particular expertise in areas such as commercial property, business sales and acquisitions, construction contracts, dispute resolution and employment law.

The firm also advises a wide range of commercial organisations including care homes, pharmacies, GP surgeries and technology businesses and is nationally recognised for the high quality commercial and regulatory advice it provides to dentists and other healthcare providers.

Pictured: Meade King managing partner James Hawkins, left, with Steve Thompson and Dave Holder from CL Electrical Controls. Photo courtesy of Jacob Boodrie

Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Bristol for just £120 a month. Email for more information.